It disappoints me when I see women who still desire diamond engagement rings. I could argue against diamonds from the moral viewpoint of what diamond traders have done to the native people where they are mined, but I know that wouldn’t matter to the shallow American woman. They believe that diamonds actually have value, and manipulate beta males into buying them so they can show it off to their girlfriends.
Diamonds are completely worthless. If diamonds were worth something, don’t you think they would be traded like gold, silver, copper, and platinum? Don’t you think they would at least be held by investors? (Even coins are held as investments.) Investors would laugh in your face if you suggest diamonds as a way to build wealth.
In 1982, Edward Jay Epstein wrote an article for The Atlantic which explained how diamonds got popular through marketing alone. Women bought the advertising and became gullible pawns in the global diamond trade, along with every other product that advertises qualities of luxury. Louis Vuitton bag anyone?
Both women and men had to be made to perceive diamonds not as marketable precious stones but as an inseparable part of courtship and married life. To stabilize the market, De Beers had to endow these stones with a sentiment that would inhibit the public from ever reselling them. The illusion had to be created that diamonds were forever ? ?forever? in the sense that they should never be resold.
In addition, the agency suggested offering stories and society photographs to selected magazines and newspapers which would reinforce the link between diamonds and romance. Stories would stress the size of diamonds that celebrities presented to their loved ones, and photographs would conspicuously show the glittering stone on the hand of a well-known woman.
?Since 1939 an entirely new generation of young people has grown to marriageable age,? it said. ?To this new generation a diamond ring is considered a necessity to engagements by virtually everyone.? The message had been so successfully impressed on the minds of this generation that those who could not afford to buy a diamond at the time of their marriage would ?defer the purchase? rather than forgo it.
Information about the diamond scam has been out for decades, yet I still see women with huge rocks on their fingers, uncontrollably grinning as they remark on how happy they are with their fiance. Are women really this shallow? I wonder what is their thought process when they gently urge their man to spend thousands of dollars on a worthless piece of jewelry. Wouldn’t that money be better spent on a house down-payment? Something that – you know – improves the quality of your life?
If you find a woman who asks you to spend a huge amount of money on a diamond, please think twice before marrying her. She has no concept of the value of money. She doesn’t care about how hard you work and all the time it took you to reach success. If she did then she would beg you NOT to buy her a diamond engagement ring. She just wants visible, flashy objects such as jewelry, cars, and clothes to show off because she doesn’t know any better. She will make it hard for you and your growing family to save and live within your means. She will want to spend money on material possessions instead of meaningful experiences. Her concept of happiness is accumulation of worthless junk, and it starts before you even walk down the aisle.
I think there is some truth to the cliche, “The bigger the engagement ring, the faster the divorce.” Show the diamond article to your future fiance but don’t say anything. If she has any common sense in her then she will forgo whatever superficial emotional bond she has to the idea of having a diamond and choose to save that money for something that has real value instead. I will never marry a woman who wants a diamond. No man should.
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Internally I have had this argument with myself about the intrinsic value of diamonds, but in the end, it is the thought that counts, although I try suggest a nice big emerald.
This is interesting…just because I do know some girls that need a giant rock to prove things about “status” to others but the irony is that mostly its the GUYS they marry that want to give them the huge diamond to PROVE to everyone how successful THEY are. Truly. Oh your marrying “so and so”…doesnt he do “this and that”…OOOH he is SO successful. Unfortunately our entire country has a huge amt of shallowness and its men and women that both prove it on a regular basis…
I don’t necessarily think its a bad thing, or an indicator of a low quality woman, if a diamond ring is bought. It depends, I think, in part to the nature of the desire and the nature of the request.
If she hints she wants a mountain of a rock, and is more concerned about its appearance than what it symbolizes, there’s your sign.
Some Greek Dude said: Virtue lies in moderation…
As a recently engaged girl, I’ll say that the important thing with a ring is the design, not price. There are so many frickin ugly clunky pimpy-looking diamond rings out there that cost a gazillion dollars, while you can easily get a well-designed, pretty, delicate, feminine one off the internet for $200-$1000. This is especially true given that, God willing, you’re not going to end up selling the thing. Like so many things in life, having good taste is way more important than how much money is spent. This is also why the girl should participate in picking out the ring – not to mention that you learn a lot about each other in the process, and if she wants you to spend 2 months salary on a tacky clunker, you may want to reconsider!
Diamonds are forever, they are all I need to please me, they can stimulate and tease me, they won’t leave in the night, have no fear that they might desert me.
Diamonds are forever. Throw your diamonds in the sky if you feel the vibe. The rock is still alive every time I rhyme.
On a side note,
DCB, FirstDateDC has been blocked by DOJ as “adult content”
What did you do?
I view a diamond engagement ring as a symbol. It is a symbol of commitment (how much your mate is willing to prove his devotion to you) and status (how much your boyfriend is willing to give you). In caveman days, a man brought his love interest a hunk of mammoth, showing her that, look, if you let me do you, you can have food. I wonder why the wooly mammoth became extinct?
A woman may not care at all about a diamond ring, but she knows just what wearing one will symbolize to her friends and co-workers. I think it?s comparable, in some way, to a man wanting a beautiful girlfriend. Even if she wasn?t as hot, and you?d still fuck her, but having that girl on your arm makes YOU look good. It says, ?look how well I did for myself, can you do as well as me? Nope, because you?re a loser.?
I hate diamonds, and honestly, if I didn?t live in the US, especially such a status-driven area like DC, I?d be happy with a tin ring. But, here, a tin ring is the ugly girlfriend. Sure she can cook, clean, give great head, and be there for you ?til the end, but one of your friends will say, hey, dude, your girlfriend is heinous. A tin ring is the caveman who knows that other guys kill mammoth, but he?s going to bring a girl a rat. Why the hell does a woman want the man with the rat? She?ll starve.
Don?t expect women to change their ways, because men sure aren?t.
I nominate Irina’s comment for best of the week. And it’s only Monday!
The ring in and of itself is purely symbolic. It’s worn for a reason – such as, warding off guys who have some measure of scruples. Sounds like you are arguing over getting a ring in the first place.
The argument “watch out for any girl wanting a diamond” is far too simplistic. A girl that wants to drain your wallet dry is one to watch for, not one that simply wants a diamond.
What would you suggest as an alternative? A ring from a box of candy?
Leave it to you to not understand the significance of a diamond. I will only marry a woman who appreciates a diamond. Just the sight of Willie “Say Hey” Mays rounding second or seeing Ted Williams at the base of a diamond will make men cry. Sure, if it reminded me of Barry Bonds, then I’d disown the diamond.
Foolishly spending money is not a measure of one’s devotion.
If a ring is a symbol of a man’s degree of devotion to his partner, does this mean a guy who earns a modest salary and is frugal with his money is less devoted than a spoiled trust-fund baby who has never had to really work for a living?
I know plenty of people, now divorced, that spent 15,000 and up on their so-called symbols of devotion. You are expressing exactly the type of shallow American viewpoint to which DCB makes reference.
I agree with you from the justice standpoint on diamonds. The way they are minded is very damaging environmentally and also unjust to local people. There are places, however, where you can buy sustainable diamonds that were mined using better practices. A friend of mine just got engaged and her boyfriend bought her a “sustainable” diamond. Personally, I think diamonds are boring and prefer other types of more unique jewelry.
While the history is interesting, it’s now irrelevant that De Beers was originally responsible for the diamonds = engagement cultural norm. The fact is that if a man doesn’t get his fiancee a diamond or other jewel-set-in-ring, he’ll be perceived as a cheapskate. It’s gone beyond its corporate roots to the point where diamonds and engagement go together like pine trees and Christmas—unavoidable realities.
Instead, we should be talking about what alternatives to diamond purchasing there are. For example, I gave my wife the diamond from the engagement ring my grandfather gave my grandmother in 1931. It was a very nice rock, and I had it re-set in platinum. I ended up just paying for the labor of re-setting it and the platinum band so I got a $4,000 ring for about $600. That may be an option for a lot of people, and they don’t even know it.
Also, I think a lot of fiancees are just as satisfied with some non-diamond precious jewel set in a ring for their engagement, but to say that diamonds are valueless is ridiculous. The value of any commodity is set by the market—end of story.
Prediction: You will never get married.
Damn Lonnie, where’d you get parts and labor on that for $600??
As for me, well I bought a used diamond for $300 because as far as I’m concerned used diamonds are as ethical as it gets. Craigslist people!!
The value of any commodity is set by the market?end of story
You must not now the whole history behind DeBeers then. Do you know that the owners and management team can not step one foot inside the united states or they will be arrested? Do you know that DeBeers intentionally restricts the amount of diamonds that are put on the market inorder to inflate demand and restrict supply so they can charge a ridiculous amount? Do you know that the jewelry industry has some of the highest margins of all? That they price on average 150-1000 percent? Diamonds are nothing more than Dinosaur piss/poop. How a woman finds value in that is above me.
O-Face, regarding DeBeers: The management of DeBeers may certainly come into the US. Some of them own houses in Maine, and also in New York City. Where did you get this info?
The best part is diamonds can now be made. The only difference is the man made ones are better. So if you really need to supply your shallow girl with one it’ll be cheaper in the coming future.
Yup I can’t read First Date site either anymore – IRS blocked it as well Way to go DCB …
As for the diamonds, I have to agree with Irina.
A ring never has plugged a whole, so buying a diamond is pointless to begin with. The concept of an engagement ring is two-fold 1) a guy gets to mark his territory and 2) a girl gets to brag about the size of the stone. A better idea would be for guys to spray paint their name on the girl’s forehead and the girl would carry around the guy’s portfolio rating and old pay-stubs to show off his worth.
P.S. The military can still see First Date
DeBeers mgmt team from the UK, where its world headquartered, can not step foot inside the U.S. for monopoly and price fixing law violations. They refuse to comply with U.S. laws.
I’ve never heard anything about the DeBeers price fixing lawsuit stipulating that DeBeers executives cannot come to the US. That would be unprecendented for a private company, don’t you think? The lawsuit was settled for $10 million in 2004—now over and done with. (Link)
It’s true that DeBeers is a monopoly, and like General Electric, also manipulates prices. I admit I was wrong by saying the market sets the price 100% though.
O-face, DeBeers has a new store at 55th and 5th in NYC for over a year now. The family owns property both in NYC and elsewhere in the US. If they are in imminent danger of being arrested, they aren’s showing it.
Lonnie is still right – doesn’t matter what they set the price at, the price is ultimately what the market is willing to pay for it. Look at gas prices: it’s hyperinflated, but it won’t come down until people DO something about it and refuse to pay. P.T. Barnum is right – there IS a sucker born every minute. If people didn’t buy diamonds, they wouldn’t be so expensive. DeBeers would have to come close to giving them away.
I’m all for the synthetic diamonds – cheaper and flawless, and no limbs cut off to get them.
I want a diamond ring. Does this make me bad/horrible/a bit player in the horrible commercialism that is America? I think not. There are ethical issues with diamond mining, I admit that. But there is nothing wrong with liking diamonds themselves. So yes, when I get engaged, I want a diamond. It doesn’t have to be huge, it doesn’t have to cost a ton of money. Any woman who is worth marrying will take into account the financial status of her possible fiance. It’s not so much teh ring, it’s what the ring stands for. Yes, there might be better ways to spend the money, but I don’t want my future to be based entirely upon practicality. I want someone who loves me enough to give me something only because I want it. Not someone who will risk the financial security of my family, but someone who will put me ahead of himself occasionally, someone who is willing to give up spending money on things he wants to get me something I want. And I will do the same thing for him. But damn it, if I’m going to spend painful hours pushing out someone’s babies, they better well realize that I am worth giving up lattes for a few months to buy a ring.
Price fixing can result in both criminal and civil charges. And one of the civil class actions is still very much alive.
Wikipedia is so useful… Ok geniuses.. They just settled in July 2004 for 10 million. So up until that point they weren’t allowed to step foot on U.S. soil. So yeah I guess within the last… I dunno…maybe year and a half they bought houses in Maine, opened stores in manhattan and sold their artificially inflated products in the U.S. market.
Actually, limbs can be cut off (and then burnt) for synthetic diamonds. You can get diamonds made out of cremains (cremated remains). Super cheap, and definately a whole lot more symbolic if that is what a diamond means to you. Also, hella-creepy: “Here honey, this is the diamond my grandfather gave my grandmother… and 1/36 of my grandmother.”
jeez. limbs cutting off, as part of the tragedy of conflict diamonds, not in actually MAKING diamonds.
O-Face is actually correct. The Economist mentions it in an article I found.
“De Beers executives are at last free to visit and work directly in the largest diamond market, America.”
Not blocked at Customs either.
I think the point here is that many women foolishly view things in the light which Irina describes. Truly this has nothing to do with whether the woman is a trust fund baby or otherwise, there seems to be a lot of societal pressure on young couples to buy a huge ring.
I base my opinion on experience: a very good friend of mine got engaged shortly after college to his girlfriend. He had a very good job (as did his GF) so he was talked into buying a very expensive ring. The salesman no doubt gave him a speech about how the ring would last a life time and obviously it was a small investment viewed over the course of his career, because look how well he was doing and he was still pretty young.
It is not really relevant to the story- but the couple I knew ended up splitting up about a month before they were married (probably for the best). My friend was stuck with around 10 thousand dollars in store credit.
My point was that the mammoth/rat metaphor is way off for most young couples. If your parents are very wealthy or something or you are inheriting a family business, you are already a millionare, or some other situation where money is not an object- then I guess this whole conversation is not really an issue. However, even young couples doing very well would probably be wiser and better off spending 5k on a ring and putting 10k towards a downpayment on a house or some other investment. Hell- personally, I’d rather spend the 10k on the honeymoon than on the ring.
I think in large part the pressure to have a huge ring is part of the “have it all- RIGHT NOW” culture of our society. If you buy your fiance a ring as expensive as a car, the reality is that now every present will be judged by this milestone, which in my opinion is a mistake.
Many women hellbent on the big ring hate to hear this, but some of the happiest, most compatible marriages I know of are ones where the husband gave his wife an heirloom ring. On the other hand, almost every case I can think of off the top of my head where a big rock was involved ended badly (or not in marriage at all).
For once, DCB, I agree 100%. This paragraph in particular sticks out to me:
“If you find a woman who asks you to spend a huge amount of money on a diamond, please think twice before marrying her. She has no concept of the value of money. She doesn?t care about how hard you work and all the time it took you to reach success. If she did then she would beg you NOT to buy her a diamond engagement ring.”
I’ve never liked the idea of a diamond engagement ring – ever – for this very reason.
The interesting thing is how many women I know who tell me that their significant other insisted on getting them the biggest diamond possible, as a way of showing how much they care. To me, a commitment is revealed over the years, not in one’s willingness to go into debt for one splashy gewgaw.
“But damn it, if I?m going to spend painful hours pushing out someone?s babies, they better well realize that I am worth giving up lattes for a few months to buy a ring.”
Great example on how a typical woman has NO concept of money. A $4 latte every day for 3 months is $360. A diamond big enough to satisfy this woman’s materialism will cost at least a few thousand. I feel sorry for your future husband.
“It?s not so much teh ring, it?s what the ring stands for.”
How stupid women can be?
I did not see Rebecca’s comments before, so let me take the chance to echo what DCB and Rhinestone Cowgirl said:
You make some excellent points Rebecca in terms of wanting to have someone put you ahead of them sometimes, someone not totally motivated by practicality, and most of all someone who recognizes the commitment you are making.
On the other hand, what DCB, myself, and others are trying to convey is that these desires must be put in perspective. If you lack the ability to place these desires in perspective with the larger picture, then personally I would not want to marry someone like you.
Most of us learn at an early age that we do not always get what we want all of the time- this builds maturity.
Truthfully? I will probably buy a diamond ring when I want to get in engaged; but the larger point I am attempting to make is that most of us are looking for someone who recognizes practical concerns such as our income and more importantly our future. Now days weddings are increasingly a more and more expensive expenditure and for many of us mom and dad will not be footing the whole bill.
Finally, I totally reject the ?It?s not so much the ring, it?s what the ring stands for.? Really think about this statement. From a purely factual standpoint, a big engagement ring represents three things: 1. You are dating someone wealthy 2. Who is willing to spend his money wastefully; and finally, 3. Who knows that you can(probably be impressed by, wooed with, or even bought with material possessions. In other words: not love, not commitment, not the high regard your mate holds you in when he asks you to marry him.
It used to be that when a man and a woman were to wed, a man would give a ‘bride-price’ (often in the form of a ring)and the woman’s family would give his family a dowry. The dowry has been done away with. Would this issue be resolved if we gave you a gift too?
I am only speaking for myself hear, but exchanging gifts really would not change my mind at all on this issue, though I appreciate the thought.
As I alluded to before, it is not really a selfish issue as far as I am concerned (maybe you feel differently). Ultimately marriage is a partnership, which means that although both parties bring different assets, attributes, lifestyles, skills, etc. to the relationship, once you are married you share those things for good or bad. So how does this view translate to my thinking on the ring?
A young couple basically sacrifices something else for that money spent on the ring. Maybe it is time before buying a first house, maybe it is little junior’s college fund, etc, etc. The alternative is girls that are actively seeking out someone who makes enough money that money is not really an object– well, personally I cannot really identify despite that I have always made what most people consider a very good salary. As such, I think these girls border on “gold digger” status and while I guess there is nothing wrong with that- I certainly would not wish to marry one. In terms of the partnership context, the ring may be “for you” but really it is not. That ring translates to your future partnership and your future family sacrificing seed money so that you can impress your friends and wear a big gem.
Oh Spike! I don’t want a nice ring, because it doesn’t mean anything to ME. I would never want my boyfriend to spend money on something so worthless. Chances are that before we get married, he would have already proven his devotion and ability to co-provide for our future family with his actions, rather than some diamond African children died for.
I’m just trying to explain the somewhat instinctive, mostly insecure behavior of my fellow females. I’m afraid that this trend may never go away.
African conflict diamonds are not sold in the US, so its a little excessive to say people’s limbs were chopped off for a diamond ring. That said DeBeers workers are not treated very well and the price of diamonds is completely artificial. I’m not sure if I would cough up any money for a ring, and I really havn’t seen an indication that there are any girls that would be worth dropping 1g+ on… but I do have a strange sort of respect for a corporation that could turn a worthless commodity into a “luxary” and convince woman through ruthless marketing that I really don’t care/am cheap if I don’t want to buy them a ring.
Haha, another typical DCB post. I love how you have no problem woman of having no concept of the value of money, when obiviously men can be equally shallow and materialistic. How is spending money on a diamond ring any different from say, going to Vegas with your friends and blowing thousands of dollars in a weekend? Or buying an expensive car? Or useless items like flat screen TVs and stereo equipment that will only break in a few years and will be outdated the day after you purchase them? For one thing, diamonds hold there value- these items do not. Diamonds also have sentimental value and can be passed down to future generations to come. And also, how is being materialistic any different than objectifying women, as you so clearly do in this entire blog?
Maybe some women (and men as it has been pointed out) want to wear a big diamond on their finger to “prove” their worth, or essentially to show off the fact that they married a man with deep pockets. But is that really any different than an older man who wants to marry a young hot trophy wife? Aren’t the two essentially the same thing- status symbols? Clearly, this materialism is all around us- and men and women both buy into it.
Let me reveal my bias up front: I think diamonds are boring. I prefer rubies, sapphires and emeralds. My engagement ring was a $300 sapphire. My last “big” jewelry gift was a ruby.
To me, engagement diamond ring = lack of imagination.
I dated one of the signatories to the original no-conflict-diamonds treaty, so I know of what I speak: The mines where the BIG diamonds are found (mainly the Congo) are not being mined these days, and will not be mined until the wars stop. Some places in Africa are being illegally mined by folks seeking to fund militias, and those diamonds are being sold on the black market. Reputable stores will not sell them.
(PS: Can you believe that all this time I was dating this guy, he never gave me a diamond? This man had a 10% interest in the biggest diamond mine in the world! But even HE didn’t believe in them. Even his mother refuses to wear diamonds. It’s a shame we can’t ALL follow suit. For crying out loud, they’re just rocks, and they’re not even that valuable.)
If you’re wondering why clusters of little diamonds are all the rage right now (brooches, the “right hand ring,” etc.,), it boils down to the fact that the big ones aren’t being mined so much, and the industry has all sorts of little worthless diamonds to get rid of. Now all of a sudden professional women are feeling like they need a “right hand ring.” Don’t fall for it; the whole idea is stupid.
A huge diamond mine was recently discovered in Canada by a cute little redhead (female)geologist. If you’re concerned about conflict diamonds, buy Canadian. She deserves to be a billionaire anyway.
Or, just don’t buy diamonds at all. How about this: Just don’t get married! Frankly, if some guy told me: “I’ll buy you a $10,000 engagement ring if you’ll squeeze out and raise my children, administer our social agenda, support my career and pick up my shit,” I would blow a fart in his general direction and bolt.
Think of it, girls: Spread out the value of the ring over all those years of cheap domestic service and you’ll find you’ll be working for pennies a day. Guys whine like babies about paying for a goddamned ring. It’s like whining about paying for cable. A couple bucks for “Basic Service” and all I hear is WAHHHHHHHH.
What a scam.
Under the traditional middle class American system the man buys a diamond, the girl’s parents pay for the wedding, the guy’s parents pay for the booze at the wedding, the guy pays for the honeymoon, the woman stays at home cranking out kids and cooking, the man works 9 to 5 making money to pay the morgage etc. So to me this system is essentially fair, except since we can probably agree that no woman (or man for that matter) is interested in it the system is basically dead and so should be the diamond ring.
Not only do I not care about a diamond ring, I’ll up the ante. I don’t give one shit about a wedding. If you’re in love and want to spend the rest of your life with someone, and you’re bickering about diamond cuts and flowers and bridesmaids, something ain’t right.
It is nice that all of you women are attempting to take the “high road” and say things like ‘i hate diamonds’ and ‘i don’t need a diamond ring’, etc. Except we all know this is not true.
Produce for me one man who proposed without a diamond ring — and is still married today without having had to purchase a diamond ring at some point down the road.
Good point there, Phil… I’m waiting for that couple to turn up.
And I see a lot of truth in “the bigger the diamond, the shorter (or the more miserable) their marriage will be” … that hits pretty close to home – my brother is stuck in a lousy marriage, but that engagement rock he got his wife – *whistles* daaaayyuummmm
for a guy the best bargain of all is not marrying the girl you’re fucking.
I’m that girl. I never received a diamond – – of any size or type – – from my husband. We divorced for reasons unrelated to jewelry.
OMG, DCB. LITOTE. When I said lattes for a few months, it was a litote. I realize that one latte per day is not going to equal an amazing diamond ring. One latte a day for ten months would equal something decent. It does not mean that I am bad with money, and even if I were, it certainly wouldn’t mean that women have “NO concept of money.” Who do you think does the finances in many households? I manage my own money, put away nearly a 10th of my income into a 403b (401k for non-profits), and do just fine. I don’t splurge, I don’t ask my parents for money, and if I want something beyond my means, I save up for it. The diamonds I do have have all been presents from people who can more than afford them and they are valuable because they were given out of love.
And next time you go out for drinks and spend money, or spend money on a new tv or laptop or an ipod, are you selling short your eventual kids? I mean, let’s talk about stupid investments. Technology is outdated within a couple of months of buying it. Yet spending your money on that doesn’t seem to send people on rampages of judgementalism.
And Spike, I never said I wanted a big engagement ring. But yes, I am more into what it stands for. I don’t care how much it cost, how big or small of a diamond it is. I wouldn’t even care if it were a diamond except that I really like diamonds. You can believe that I’m lying and say that I shouldn’t want a ring at all, but I’m not and I do. If that makes me a bad person, fine. Yes I want a physical symbol of someone’s love and sacrifice. It isn’t putting a price on me or on their love and there is no requisite price. I wouldn’t turn someone whom I really loved down because they bought me a $100 ring from Walmart.
The only reason you like diamonds is because a corporation has told you to like them. Diamonds are probably the ugliest stone there is.
Diamonds are shiny. I like shiny things. If that is a result of cultural hegemony, still not my fault. I could be all “DOWN WITH DIAMONDS. THEY ARE THE MAN! DAMN THE MAN!” But really. What’s the point?
Funny, my boyfriend asked me to marry him today. Of course, I said yes. He asked if I wanted a ring, and I declined. I’d rather just have a plain wedding band. I do agree with a lot of DCB’s reasons. Diamonds are big because the industry has made them big. They are constantly warping the female mind to think that if you get a diamond, then he really must love you. So stupid. IF I did want a ring, I’d want a white gold jemstone such as amethyst or aquamarine. Not something that is going to take 2-4 paychecks to cover. Colored jemstones are where it’s at. Why on earth would you want something that EVERY OTHER GIRL out there has?
Yeah… but then you are going in the exact opposite direction of being trendy: “Being different for the sake of being different.”
No, I’m not doing it for the sake of being different. I’m doing it because I really don’t want a big bling-blingity rock on my hand that I don’t really care for.
My husband proposed without a ring. He asked what kind I wanted, and I said it was up to him. My diamond is small, which is fine by me. It’s also flawless, which is better quality than the boulders most girls go for. As for it being a symbol, so is the wedding band, for that matter….the vows and/or legal documents are what bind you, not the jewelry that’s on your hand…….and to reciprocate, my husband’s ring has diamonds as well. I don’t believe it’s shallow to like or want one, either.
I’m a middle class civil servant with college debt. I’m also surface of the sun flaming liberal. I was raised Catholic, but because of political and theological disagreements I usually attend Quaker meeting or a non-denominational church. I’ve also studied feminism extensively, and consider myself a ?third wave? feminist. I’ve read many news articles and studies about diamonds, and I know that they are intrinsically worthless.
And when I meet the right woman and propose, I will buy her a diamond ring if she wants one. And it will be the largest one that I can reasonably afford while accomplishing all of our other financial goals. If she doesn’t want one, then I don’t care. I would prefer to buy her a sapphire or alexandrite or something that is actually valuable. But the choice is hers. If it brings her joy to wear it, it will bring me joy to put it on her finger.
A diamond IS symbolic. Some small subsection of over-educated liberals (like me!) believe that people who buy diamonds are idiots. I find this ironic, as the word “idiot” is derived from the Greek “idios” – which referred to people who were overly concerned with themselves and ignored the community and its standards. It is diamond haters who ignore the larger truth of the situation – the vast majority of people in this country value and admire diamond engagement rings. They are no more or less valuable then an expensive piece of real estate, a purebred dog, or toys for a small child who may never remember them – their value is partially real but mostly sentimental. Accept that people are creatures of both logic and emotion – your relationships will be better for it.
hedonistic – that still makes me right.
Phil and nabeel:
Here’s your couple. I declined the diamond over five years ago (when conflict daimonds were still likely in every jewelry store). All I wanted were matching, simple bands, and even those are just symbols. The point at that time, imo, was that we were getting married. Today, the point is that we’re still married, and happily.
Say what you will, but I’m not going to be asking for one later down the road. We have far too many priorities for our money (the house, concerts/shows, books, guitars…).
And I assume this thread is meant to take into account only straight women – I’ve yet to see any civilly committed women flashing their bling.
you know what they say… large diamonds are bad luck.
The Psycho Moment: Engagement
Some years have passed, so I can talk about this now.
Many many moons ago, I started dating this very cool girl. We hit it off right away, had lots in common, she was smart, agressive, cool and funny. And hot. Really hot.
So we dated for a while, which became a year, then nearly two. I figured she was it. We worked together on decisions, but I followed my passions and she followed hers – both career professionals, both creative, and both ready to kick this town for a Carribean cottage if the thought ever struck us. Adventure. Romance. Lots of Sex. All was right with my world.
So I did what I figured I should do – I went out shopping for a diamond ring.
That was the biggest mistake I ever made.
I can’t really put my finger on the exact change, but over the years, I’ve cometo summarize it this way: I went from being the guy she loved and wanted to marry to the guy who didn’t match up with her fantasy about getting married, in about 24 hours.
She started acting as if I was completely incapable of making any decisons on my own, in spite of the evidence to the contrary. She criticized everything I did. She tried to make me look like some idiot, Homer Simpson type. Now, I’m not splitting atoms in the basement or anything, but I was Fulbright kid for a year and graduated cum laude, and I have a tendency to avoid dumb shit like telemarking scams, computer viruses, STD’s and, well, white slavery rings. Let’s just say I’m no Homer.
Then the wedding planning started, and HO LEE SHIT. We were doing alright, for sure, but she had put together about a 45K day for us in a matter of a week or two. When I objected to some ridiculous expense (bunting? WTF?), I was told I was wrong, or “didn’t know what I was talking about” and, unless I wanted a big fight, I shut up right there. Trust me, when I balked at the cost of flowers, I was nearly decapitated.
Nearly all of this, I was told, was “What she always wanted”.
Well, I always wanted 15 playboy bunnies oiled up on a water bed in the horniest state known to womankind, which I think might have actually cost LESS, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to happen.
I hit the ceiling when I saw the guestlist. 225. I barely know 225 people, let alone want to feed them and watch them get drunk while my savings account cries to me over the phone “You have ZERO dollars and 22 cents”. Who is this? That? A bartender you know? I don’t even LIKE that girl!
One night, I told her this: You know what, you’re going to have about as much fun, possibly more, if I don’t show up at this thing.
So I bailed. Yup, I packed my shit and hit the door, a good 4 months prior to the date of my pre-planned, ever-priced, heavily adorned demise. I called it off, packed my shit and left. And I have never looked back.
Oh, we had a big talk. It was about as much fun as you’d expect. I got my hair blown back for an hour or so, but I was already numb. She’d been yelling at me about this and that for so long, I couldn’t tell anymore when she was mad or not.
Maybe the hardest part was that I was having incredible sucess, in lots of things, while all this was happening. Musically, professionaly – things were really coming together for me. And she couldn’t be pleased. In the end, it’s her loss, but I’ve always wondered what the fuck she was thinking.
The moral to this story?
Engagement Ring – $3800.00 (never got it back)
Non-Refundable Deposits – $5200.00 (all my money)
Moving Expenses – $750.00
Being Single again – Priceless.
THAT was the Attack of BRIDEZILLA!!!!!!!
I was married outdoors in my prom dress. The wedding, the ring, and the honeymoon put together cost less than $2500. But I’m just a Midwestern transplant. We have different ideas of what’s appropriate.
These east coast weddings are insane. And don’t get me started on the Bar Mitzvahs . . . the last one I went to cost more than a wedding.
Men grow cold as girls grow old
And we all lose our charm in the end
But square-cut or pear-shape
These rocks don’t lose their shape
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!
By the way, its time for a math lesson:
Length of pregnancy: 9 months
“Great example on how a typical woman has NO concept of money. A $4 latte every day for 3 months is $360. A diamond big enough to satisfy this woman?s materialism will cost at least a few thousand. I feel sorry for your future husband. (DCB)”
So, if you give up your lattes for the same amount of time a woman is pregnant over two children, assuming no miscarriages, then that’d be $2,160 there…
Edward Jay Epstein actually wrote more than that article about diamonds, he wrote a whole fucking book. “The Rise & Fall of Diamonds.” Used to be up for free on his website. If you’re thinking about wanting/buying/needing a diamond, I suggest you find that book and read it. If you find, after reading that book that you still want/are buying/need a diamond, (man or woman) you’re a fucking idiot.
At one point in the late ’30’s DeBeers had a stockpile of 40 million carats which they kept in reserve to keep the market from flooding. Oppenheimer (who owns DeBeers) actually considered dumping several TONS of them into the ocean to prevent them from reaching the market in the event his creditors should ever want to liquify the company.
Do you know what that means? The rock currently sitting on your finger is actually worthless. If you want something clear and shiny, buy glass.
And since I’m a woman who is obviously taking the “high road” by saying “I hate diamonds” and is clearly lying, I suggest you take Eddie’s word for it:
The reality is:
for women, any diamond, but ESPECIALLY large diamonds are irresistible, whether the are willing to admit it or not.
For men, it’s huge TV’s – the bigger the better- paired with the inevitable black leather sofa…
We BOTH have our dopey weaknesses. Human nature, ya know?
Black Jack Video Poker Games…
Online blackjack uncaused online blackjack blackjack floppy blackjack….
Interesting topic… I’m working in this industry myself and I don’t agree about this in 100%, but I added your page to my bookmarks and hope to see more interesting articles in the future…
Interesting topic… I’m working in this industry myself and I don’t agree about this in 100%, but I added your page to my bookmarks and hope to see more interesting articles in the future…
truth about diamonds: http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=334
The diamond engagement ring has become a tradition, and all traditions start at some place…at some time. I do not think there is anything wrong with a nice ring, it is a symbol of committment. Of course, nowadays, people scoff at the institution of marriage..committment and very little importance is given at all. I mean we live in the day and age of 30 minute marriages! So, it does not surprise me that a large majority of men are not comfortable buying something so expensive…It seems as if there is very little faith in love at all. I find it to be sad, really….
Of course, there is the group of people (you know who you are!) who scoff at the expense of diamond engagement rings because they are a) jealous b)will never spend that amount themselves on anyone c)or themself d) cannot be happy for anyone.
I am very lucky to have found a wonderful guys who is my best friend and treats me well. When he proposed he bought me a very small, delicate ring that he could affort at that time. I acepted, and was overjoyed. Later, he chose to buy me another ring, after years of committment. Because he wanted to. And I have to say sometimes I do not even where it because I get so many catty looks and comments. Maybe people think I married him for the ring? I don’t know. but more importantly, THEY don’t know ME. And that is why they can go on endlessly babbling…because they have forgotten the beauty of true love and committment…
It is very sad. I know diamond or no diamond, I would still love my guy, and always have. If myhusband chose to give me ring as a another symbol of his love, I am gracious and happy. If he wants to give me a backrub to symbolize his love, I am equally gracious and happy.
The truth is that I know what is more important — the two of us together.
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I am another female who hates diamonds. Basically, they are boring. They have no color. Their value is a figment of our collective imagination. I’d rather buy antique jewelery, art nouveau stuff, with colored gemstones that have real “personality” rather than the boring old solitaire in a gold or platinum setting.
Also, I saw, years ago, before the Blood Diamond movie, the conditions of a man in Africa who actually had to dive under water, holding his breath, in a muddy cesspool, to find them. He would receive no break and risk his life daily.
I say, go ahead and THROW THEM ALL INTO THE OCEAN! This is a worldwide scam. Few women these days think for themselves and are able to overcome the subtle brainwashing that advertising perpetrates 24 hours a day.
This article is brilliant. I am so glad that others realize the incredible marketing scheme that has manipulated the minds of the population to wholeheartedly believe that diamonds are tantamount to love and affection. Not only are rings in themselves a symbol of ownership but even in their modern reinvention they have become objects that determine the “value” of a woman which must be matched by the “worthiness” of a man. The value and worth of human beings are being lowered to that of the inflated price of a stone. Although the success of the marketing strategy used by the international diamond industry should be commended as the epitomy of advertising genius, the effects on the impressionable public have been harmful. Women have become shallow and conniving in their quest for these rocks. Men have put the purchase of diamonds in place of true feelings of love and respect. In retrospect, diamonds are wrongly used as symbols of love and the joining of two humans together for all time, these worthless stones truly represent greed and indifference.
Phil, just for some hope for you…my brother and his wife have been incredibly happily married for a decade now and the ring was not a diamond. So there is one example.
Also, I also told my current boyfriend that I do not want a diamond, ever. Sure, I would like some sort of symbol of our engagement just because it’s sentimental and a sweet tradition in my opinion, but I don’t need him to spend anywhere near 2 months salary on it, nor do I want a colorless, boring rock. yuck.
I’d rather have a pretty band maybe with our favorite colored stone or something meaningful incorporated into it. Even if it’s cheap it would show that my boyfriend knows what I like and chose something to reflect our love. It would be nice if it didn’t fall apart or turn my finger green in a week…but that’s really not too much to ask.
And girls, if you like clear shiny stones, just because that’s your thing, why not go with the stone that has been proven to look even more brilliant…moissanite. Get rid of this stupid idea that if it’s not diamond you’ll be looked down upon or he doesn’t love you enought to spend a lot. Tell him from the start that you would rather put that money away for a nest egg or a killer honeymoon.
Diamond sellers have to use special machines to tell the difference, and the way that they can tell is because the Moissanite is more brilliant! There should be no quesiton here.
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